Saturday, October 29, 2011

Help Occupy Wall Street

The Help
Read Goodreads review here.
Read Shelfari review here.
I know someone who was a hippie. Make love, not war...all that jazz. And to tell you the indisputable truth, that front-page picture of such a massive group rallying together for reform (and a hell of a lot of partying, as it seems) instantaneously made me think of her. Her generation's protesting of the Vietnam War...that was similar to this, right? People harboring collective anger about a supposed conflict and expressing it. From the 1960s to the 2010s, a distinct and imperative parallel therefore exists.
     The 1960s are also the time in which The Help, Kathryn Stockett's wildly popular novel, is set. In a dramatically racist Jackson, Mississippi, Skeeter, an aspiring writer, conceives the idea of interviewing black maids to discover how they feel about serving white housewives. However, such maids are afraid to even be seen with Skeeter as they consider lynchings, beatings, and arrests that have befell other local coloreds who crossed "the line". Everyone knows deep within their soul that change is truly necessitated, but shouldn't one's life, and those of one's family, be considered first? Walk in Aibileen, a fearless maid who risks the nothing she has to lose. Aibilieen's writing professes the emotions elicited when a child you're paid to take care of calls you "Mama", when you must simply watch the neglect a parent can inflict on that child, their own child. Aibileen only begins to release her secrets because the benevolent grandson of a sweet, elderly friend of hers is beat to blindness by a few racists. At this time, the woman prioritized a change in the way Jacksonians lived over her personal well being. Soon, other maids hop on the bandwagon and begin releasing their stories to the world, but this only occurs after a profound realization in each of their lives as well. Said realization occurs when Yule May, a maid who is desperate to put her twin boys through college, must go off to jail because her employer, antagonist Ms. Hilly Holbrook, unjustly accuses the woman of stealing a ring. Hilly, however, doesn't care to reveal that the ring she stole, a dusty ring left under the sofa, is one that she doesn't care for at all. Racism is the sole fuel to her malignant action.  
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street protesters singing.
     What I would like you to focus on here is the profound event that mobilizes actions towards change. No maid of Jackson Mississippi would have given a thought to talking with Miss Skeeter if they didn't experience their moment. The moment where a person states,  Something is wrong here. It really needs to be fixed, and because it really needs to, not trying to fix it would be just as wrong. The other maids see Yule May's situation and know that no matter how much pain it may cause in the future, not doing anything about the racism in Jackson, Mississippi is as malignant as racism itself.    
     Nowadays, a movement has been taking the nation by storm, a movement that threatens to never release this USA from its grasp. What am I talking about? Occupy Wall Street, of course. People around the country see a great wrong in Wall Street corruption, the massive job famine, and anything that causes "getting by" to be immensely difficult. And just like the aforementioned black maids, they each had a moment of revelation, a moment when they acknowledged such wrongs and stated that not fixing them was a wrong in itself. Without such a moment, these individuals would be equal parts silent and desperate in attempting to secure an occupation for themselves, making this wondrous influx of youth expressionism nonexistent.
Darryl Bush / AP
Occupy Wall Street protesters running from tear gas.
     And the ultimate effect a moment of revelation can have-the real change? For the maids of Jackson, Mississippi, it is a breakdown of segregation, especially on the domestic front. Hilly Holbrook is dethroned from public eminence and doesn't even think about persuading her fellow housewives to perform racist actions anymore. Her Home Health Sanitation Initiative, a bill that requires all white households to maintain a separate bathroom for colored help because of supposed, African American diseases, is accordingly repealed...but then there's the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Goals of the protests, the protesters' way of correcting such financial problems, are beginning to emerge, but until they are absolute, no one can validly predict the ultimate effect.
      One thing, though, is absolute-however long the conflicts exist, these enraged citizens will continue to act. For what are they but human?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Neglected Mailbox Numero Dos

Dear Viewer Who Has Oh-So-Wonderfully Watched this Cry for Help,

Just as a prologue to this post...if you don't know what "In My Neglected Mailbox" is, feel free to watch the video posted to the right titled "They Want to Be Heard".

First, of all, "In My Mailbox" is a blog meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren ( and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie ( to let all of us book bloggers party on the web.

Second of all, the desperate book here is THE COLOR OF WATER: A BLACK MAN'S TRIBUTE TO HIS WHITE MOTHER by James McBride. If you do not want to experience it in book form, please feel highly encouraged to do so in musical form.

Fourth of all, thank you for giving my boisterous books your precious time. Trust that there will be another one hating on me on yet another post in the coming weeks.

Fifth of all, my response: This book definitely used different forms of the word "complete" in his video. And despite its obvious thoughtfulness, wouldn't Steve Jobs's life continue to "affect" as people use his ever-convenient devices? All of the effort he placed in his life is exemplified whenever I turn on my iPod for entertainment. But what do you think, viewer? I hope your opinion can help me decide whether delving into this piece is worth it.

Uomo di Speranza

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank You, Mickey Mouse!

The Imperfectionists
Read the Goodreads page here.
Read the Shelfari page here.
When I ventured to Disney World this year, what I came back with was something more than a hat clad with mouse-ears.  No, from residing in a place where the ambiguities of different cultures pleasantly lie, an entirely alternative phenomenon was secured by me (is it that noticeable that I'm practicing my PSAT words?). And it oh-so-impeccably reminded me of a recently-read book, The Imperfectionists.
     Tom Rachman's debut novel recounts the inclement lives of Roman journalists who work for an international newspaper of the English language. They cry, they laugh, they deal with spouses having affairs, they deal will almost having affairs themselves, and they produce a newspaper that sits next to morning coffees around the world. Amazing, isn't it? Equally as amazing is the fact that, despite such palpable differences as age, financial situation, and employment status, each of them experience the same foibles, follies, mirth. This is a novel composed of different anecdotes that follow different staff members, and each anecdote does indeed show mirth and melancholy, maybe not in the form of crying and laughing, but the same emotion nevertheless. The partial disappointment shown when a spouse has an affair? That is present in each as well. The self-indulgence and possible revenge present in having an affair oneself is there too. Altogether, the sole phenomenon that infringes upon uniformity is rudimentary the experiences where such emotions are incensed.     
     In Disney World, I witnessed so many different people congregating in one area for the sake of innocent entertainment. And whether their parents were soothing them in French or English or Spanish or Pig Latin, for all I know, babies did cry in distress at the ear-splitting sound of fireworks over Cinderella's Castle. Parents had mirth dance in their hearts while watching their kids experience such mirth fly from ice-cream into their mouths. The wealthy, suited CEO fresh out of a convention was just as overwhelmed on Tower of Terror as the farmer who saved change for three years to grant his family a day at the park.
     Human emotions are the same for all humanity; the only thing that changes is the human who experiences them, and in what life they are experienced. Something tells me that Mr. Disney knew that.